Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, March 2, 2012

Week ending March 2, 2012

Erickson, Karen. Worth the Scandal. Samhain. (Worth It, Bk. 1). Mar. 2012. c.237p. eISBN 9781609287740. EPUB $5.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Worth the Scandal, a modern-day Cinderella story, is the first in a new series featuring the Worth brothers (Worth the Risk is scheduled for July). The distinguished Alex Worth, CEO of his family’s business, has invited assistant Tessa Crawford on a European tour to help relaunch several of their overseas stores. Alex is taking the place of his brother Hunter, who is investigating a possible spy leaking company secrets to the public. Despite Tessa’s insecurities about her place among the rich, the trip affords her the chance to go from average to glamorous as Alex showers her with luxuries, and it is no surprise that the two of them can’t keep their hands off of each other. But a shocking call from Hunter revealing new information about the spy may put their blooming romance in jeopardy and threaten this Cinderella from getting her happily ever after.
Verdict: Erickson (Melt with You) sets the perfect stage for love in the world’s most romantic cities, making Alex and Tessa’s quick romance plausible, plus steamy lovemaking and a looming subplot help carry the story along to a surprising yet gratifying conclusion.‚ Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL

Fox, Cathryn. Good at Being Bad. Samhain. (Boys of Beachville, Bk. 1). Apr. 2012. c.83p. eISBN 9781609286743. EPUB $3.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Fox’s first installment in the Boys of Beachville series is a kink-lite contemporary novella. Allison Cooper is a public relations specialist hoping to advance her career. Her current project is to create and promote a calendar featuring the heroes of Beachville. The only fly in the ointment is ex-boyfriend police detective Carter James. Carter is Mr. July, and he will only participate if Allison agrees to be there for all of his events. Seeing Carter on a day-to-day basis can only lead to more heartache. Allison broke up with him because of his reckless behavior, and she’s convinced that not much has changed. Carter hopes to change her mind.
Verdict Fox’s (Torn Between Two Brothers) latest title is pretty generic fare. From the name of the town, Beachville, to the bad-boy-cop hero, there’s nothing much new here. But fans looking for something familiar, readers who like Lori Foster, will enjoy this quick read.‚ Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI

Kilby, Joan. Gentlemen Prefer Nerds. Carina: Harlequin. Mar. 2012. c.257p. ISBN 9781426893377. EPUB $5.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
With a completed Ph.D. and the discovery of a new gem to rival the Hope diamond, gemologist Maddie Maloney should be leading the perfect (nerd) life. Heading home to her cat and her Modesty Blaise novels ought to be enough. Then one evening as Maddie runs some tests on the precious Rose diamond, a stranger breaks into her aunt’s store. He steals nothing, except perhaps Maddie’s heart. From that point on, Maddie tries to use the scientific method to separate fact from fiction, keeping herself and the ones she loves out of harm’s way as a jewel thief is rumored to be on the prowl for the Rose.
Verdict Kilby (Two Against the Odds) opens this work with a break-in and some rather intense scenes that only serve to underscore the slightly plodding pace in the center section. Additionally, the Australian setting seems almost too generic to be authentic. Once those hurdles are overcome, though, the engaging plot of nerds in love imitating their favorite characters (Maddie goes for Rose Dawson and Vivian Ward) is sure to keep readers entertained.‚ Heather Lisa Maneiro, Minnesota State Univ. Lib.‚ Moorhead

McHugh. Crista. A Waltz at Midnight. Carina: Harlequin. Mar. 2012. 472Kb. eISBN 9781426893322. EPUB $2.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
It’s November 1866, and Susanna Parkwell is a 23- year-old housemaid at her aunt’s boarding-house at Vassar College in upstate New York. When her friend Charlotte convinces Susanna to write letters to Mr. Theodore Blakely, it is simply to discourage him from pursuing a match with Charlotte. Susanna poses as Charlotte, and, forgetting that she is supposed to turn him away, she pours her thoughts and ideas into the exchanges. Teddy is intrigued by the letters‚ and goes to propose marriage to Charlotte at her family home. Finding out that the real Charlotte did not write the letters, Teddy must then track down the woman who did, the one with whom he has fallen in love. In this Cinderella meets Cyranno tale, the servant girl meets her handsome prince, and they live happily ever after!
Verdict This is a surprisingly light romance from writer McHugh, better known for her paranormal and fantasy tales (e.g., The Tears of Elios). A Waltz at Midnight is a small-sized treat; it is a quick read but one sure to please any historical romance reader. A nod to Cinderella stories everywhere, this version still has all the classic features: the downtrodden maiden, the rich, handsome prince, the class struggles, the family drama, and, finally, that everlasting love that always wins in the end.‚ Judy Taylor Garner, ECPI Univ. Lib., Glen Allen, VA

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"